Throughout the entirety of the Catalan independence push of the last few months, the Spanish state has said that all its actions against Carles Puigdemont and other Catalan leaders has been justified because they are enforcing the constitution. Whilst this is a true statement, it has become apparent that many people in Catalonia are opposed to some aspects of this constitution, especially in cases where its rigid enforcement can cause such bloodshed. The Spanish Foreign Minister Alfonso Dastis has signaled that this impasse may be resolved by allowing greater direct democracy in the country.
The current debate around citizenship that is lingering in the Australian political discourse stems from a section of the constitution that should have been removed years ago. The question about citizenship is essentially a masked point about loyalty to the people of Australia. Not only is this unjustifiable mistrust of the perceived ‘Other’ harmful to the fabric of society, the examples of recent weeks illustrate how this section of the constitution has been disruptive to Australian public life in a way that is highly ironic given one of the purposes of such a provision.
It is widely known that United States government is unapologetically pro-Israel and this has normally resulted in the favourable press coverage of the right-wing government of Israeli, even in supposedly liberal publications. However this has gone one step further. Senator Benjamin Cardin (D-MD) has introduced Senate Bill 720, also known as the Israel Anti-Boycott Bill, and already the bill has 45 cosponsors- 31 Republican and 14 Democrat. Not only is this an attempt by the pro-Israel lobby to continue comparing opposition to the Israeli government as the same as anti-Semitism, but this bill shows that many members of the Senate do not understand the US constitution.
The French elections will be a massively symbolic event. Not only will the French people who will be their legislators and their next President, the result will either embolden far-right populists across Europe or the those parties opposed to this tide of authoritarian feeling. I have previously argued that the structural barriers in the Dutch and German political systems make the election of far-right parties much more difficult, and I remain convinced of this view. However, the same cannot be said of France. The following few articles shall be exploring the French political system and the election because if France falls to the same far-right forces as have prevailed elsewhere, the ramifications will be numerous. This piece shall analyse the constitutional ambiguity that has given me cause for concern.
Since the 2014 Scottish Independence referendum the British constitutional settlement has been pushed to the forefront of political discourse. The reaction from policy-makers has been piecemeal devolution and vague conversations about a federal UK. The problem with the federal UK proposal is that any future prospect of legislative decentralisation is contingent upon the UK remaining as a political entity. Notwithstanding one’s personal views on the British state, it must be said that a situation where the UK remains intact looks unlikely. The Brexit vote has seen Scottish secessionist feelings harden and there are serious questions about the constitutional status of Northern Ireland, especially in relation to the Good Friday Agreement. Basing devolution on the future of the union, therefore, would seem foolish. Continue reading →
On Sunday Bryton Mellott of Urbana, Illinois decided to send a political message to his social media followers. In order to do this, Mellot decided to take a photo of himself burning an American flag and uploaded to social media. Underneath the photo was a caption outlining his reasons and was finished with the hashtag ‘ArrestMe’. Unfortunately, that is exactly what the local police department decided to do. The wider point here is about how law enforcement is ignorant the law they are supposed to uphold, and that authoritarianism in all its forms needs to be combated.
Congress doesn’t do much these days and because of this lack of action many people have turned to ideologies that openly shun the activities and scope of the federal government. These people often identify as libertarians and, despite my personal annoyance at this label, will often conflate the importance of small government and the free market with some vague reference to the US Constitution in the mix.